WORLD WAR II

Germany

The German Resistance to Hitler

J - O

John, Otto. Twice Through the Lines: The Autobiography of Otto John. New York: Harper and Row, 1972.

Kessler, Leo [pseud., Charles Whiting]. Kommando: Hitler's Special Forces. London: Pen & Sword Paperback, 1997.

Horn, Parameters, Summer 1998, says that this book's "fast-moving, riveting text reads like fiction and yields a captivating glimpse of Hitler's Secret Service." One of the themes of Kessler's work is "the rivalry between the Abwehr and the parallel Secret Service apparatus of Himmler's SS organization. The struggle provides an interesting insight into the political intrigue of the period; it also portrays the depth of the anti-Hitler movement within the Abwehr." Kommando has "a glaring weakness: none of the exploits recorded in the book are substantiated.... Despite its riveting and detailed text, however, the lack of documentation and references limits its value."

Laqueur, Walter A., and Richard Breitman. Breaking the Silence. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986. Breaking the Silence: The German Who Exposed the Final Solution. Lebanon, NH: Brandeis University Press via University Press of New England, 1994. [pb]

This is the story of Eduard Schulte, an anti-Nazi German industrialist, who tried to alert the Allies to the existence of the German death camps.

Leber, Annedore. Tr., Rosemary O'Neill. Conscience in Revolt: Sixty-Four Studies of Resistance in Germany, 1933-1945. London: Mitchell, 1957.

Macksey, Kenneth. Without Enigma: The Ultra and Fellgiebel Riddles. Shepperton, Surrey, UK: Ian Allen, 2000.

According to Erskine, I&NS 17.2, this work combines "counter-factual history" (what would have happened without the take from Enigma) with a recounting of "the wartime career of General Erich Fellgiebel ... and his part in the 20 July 1944 assassination plot against Hitler." The author "gets too many aspects of ciphers and cipher machines wrong." Regrettably, this work "does not illuminate Ultra, and its twin themes do not blend well." Kruh, Cryptologia 26.4, comments that the author "provides a realistic and logical scenario of what might have been, along with insights on Hitler's generals and the failed assassination attempt. It is an excellent, imaginative book."

Manville, Roger, and Heinrich Fraenkel.

1. The Canaris Conspiracy: Secret Resistance to Hitler in the German Army. New York: McKay, 1969. [Chambers]

2. The Men Who Tried to Kill Hitler New York: Coward, McCann, and Geoghegan, 1964.

Meehan, Patricia. The Unnecessary War: Whitehall and the German Resistance to Hitler. London: Sinclair-Stevenson, 1992.

For Powers, NYRB, 9 Jan. 1997, this work is a "thoroughly researched and well-written account of British dealings with the German resistance." Elkes, I&NS 12.2, sees Meehan as providing an "overview of the problems those in the [German] Resistance had in their efforts to make contacts abroad." Meehan makes "an extremely strong case decrying the conduct of those in Whitehall and particularly the Foreign Office."

Nelson, Anne. Red Orchestra: The Story of the Berlin Underground and the Circle of Friends Who Resisted Hitler. New York: Random House, 2009.

Goulden, Washington Times, 21 Jun. 2009, and Intelligencer 17.2 (Fall 2009), notes that the author "focuses on the intellectuals, artists and bureaucrats -- half of them women -- who comprised the German off-shoot of the Rote Kapelle." However, she "goes a bit far in divorcing the entire effort from Soviet intelligence." And she "chose to ignore the most authoritative overview of the Red Orchestra, a post-war CIA study," which continues to be readily available. Nonetheless, this is "[a] first-rate read."

For Pringle, IJI&C 23.1 (Spring 2010), the author's "pages on the role of the women of the Red Orchestra are quite moving." It is clear that Nelson "deeply empathizes with the key members of the group, and has done impressive research about their lives." However, it is bothersome that she "apparently did not consult some important books on Soviet intelligence and the Red Orchestra." Despite this, this work "usefully explores a relatively unknown chapter of German history."

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